The biggest airports worldwide
by passengers

vgwortThe largest airport in this ranking is the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. With 8956820 starts and landings in 2018 it belongs without doubt to the biggest airports worldwide. 37 airlines are starting here and fly to a total of 217 travel destinations. About 1,074 million passengers and 6,938.000 tons of cargo are moved annually.

The data given for passengers, movements and cargo are based on the years 2017 to 2018.
Order by:

1.Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
United States (ATL)
1,073.94 M6,937,900 t8956820372173624 m
2.Los Angeles International Airport
United States (LAX)
875.34 M22,098,500 t7078330621493685 m
3.Chicago O'Hare International Airport
United States (ORD)
832.45 M18,070,910 t9037470462063962 m
4.Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth, United States (DFW)
691.13 M8,329,130 t6672130331874085 m
5.Denver International Airport
United States (DEN)
644.95 M2,782,720 t5951900241694877 m
6.John F Kennedy International Airport
New York, United States (JFK)
616.24 M13,910,430 t4553720741624442 m
7.San Francisco International Airport
United States (SFO)
577.39 M5,713,550 t4701640421043618 m
8.McCarran International Airport
Las Vegas, United States (LAS)
498.63 M1,182,730 t5398570341334423 m
9.Seattle Tacoma International Airport
United States (SEA)
498.50 M4,323,150 t438391033903627 m
10.Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
495.07 M5,573,880 t4742890461473389 m
11.Orlando International Airport
United States (MCO)
476.97 M2,559,050 t3476720351023659 m
12.Charlotte Douglas International Airport
United States (CLT)
464.48 M2,111,590 t5500130181413048 m
13.Newark Liberty International Airport
United States (EWR)
458.51 M8,257,400 t4533280351533353 m
14.Miami International Airport
United States (MIA)
450.44 M21,296,580 t4160320431353962 m
15.Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
United States (PHX)
449.44 M3,545,410 t434252024913502 m
16.George Bush Intercontinental Houston Airport
United States (IAH)
438.08 M5,281,220 t4667380321693658 m
17.General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport
Boston, United States (BOS)
410.14 M3,336,420 t4240240341033073 m
18.Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport
United States (MSP)
381.07 M2,392,720 t4074760181303355 m
19.Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport
United States (FLL)
359.63 M1,083,400 t333465025972743 m
20.Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
United States (DTW)
352.37 M2,303,980 t3936810231353659 m
21.Philadelphia International Airport
United States (PHL)
316.92 M5,037,660 t3796650231223202 m
22.La Guardia Airport
New York, United States (LGA)
300.94 M17,883 t371905015702134 m
23.Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
United States (BWI)
271.31 M1,995,460 t266569017723201 m
24.Vancouver International Airport
Canada (YVR)
260.16 M3,382,180 t338073031753505 m
25.Salt Lake City International Airport
United States (SLC)
255.54 M1,964,850 t337276013903659 m
26.San Diego International Airport
United States (SAN)
242.38 M1,744,630 t225058029552865 m
27.Washington Dulles International Airport
United States (IAD)
239.05 M3,009,360 t2742810391263506 m
28.Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
United States (DCA)
234.31 M 293827016912094 m
29.Chicago Midway International Airport
United States (MDW)
220.28 M 243322010741988 m
30.Tampa International Airport
United States (TPA)
212.89 M2,031,370 t206938023683353 m

Airports Council International

The Airports Council International (ACI) is an umbrella organisation consisting of 641 members that deals with all aspects of airport management. Of these 641 members, a total of 1953 airports are operated in 176 countries (as of January 2018). This also includes all major airports worldwide. In monthly and annual reports, the ACI publishes the traffic figures for passengers and freight traffic of its members with a 12-month delay. The official figures for 2019 will therefore only be available at the beginning of 2021 and will also be limited to the top 30 places.

In total, there are 61 airports with a passenger volume of over 25 million per year, which the ACI classifies as major airports. Of these, around one third are located in North America and one quarter in Europe. The rest is spread across Asia, Australia and South America. None of the major airports are located in Africa.

IATA and ICAO codes

The best known airport abbreviations are the 3-digit letter combinations of the IATA. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an association of around 280 airlines worldwide. The airports themselves are not members in the strict sense, but there are several hundred strategic partnerships between IATA and airports, the aviation industry, public authorities and also travel agencies and suppliers.

The aim of IATA is the international development of safe and economical air traffic. This includes above all the creation of standards such as ticket or booking systems. For example, it handles the booking and invoicing of over 400 million airline tickets every year.

The IATA codes are issued for airports (e.g. "SFO" for San Francisco), airlines (e.g. "LH" for Lufthansa) and aircraft types (e.g. "388" for an Airbus A380-800). The letters of an airport code usually have a connection with the name of the city. Only at very large airports does IATA assign a code that is not based on the city or region, but on the name of the airport. These are for example LHR (London Heathrow) or CDG (Charles de Gaulle).

A major drawback of the IATA codes is the limited selection of 3-digit codes, which means that codes are assigned again after some time. Since IATA only issues an official list for a four-digit fee, several Internet services are involved in collecting these codes. Unfortunately, this always leads to the listing of new codes and thus to apparent duplicates.

A further organisation of international air traffic is the "International Civil Aviation Organisation" (ICAO), which is a special organisation of the United Nations (UN) and also assigns its own codes for airports, airlines and aircraft types. Unlike IATA codes, however, normal passengers rarely come into contact with ICAO codes. They are mostly used by pilots and air traffic control. They are recognisable by their 4 letters, which gives them the advantage over the IATA codes that considerably more combinations are possible and there is no multiple assignment of the same code. Their more systematic structure also makes it possible to identify where an airport is located. The first two letters stand for the region and the country.

CSV download

An unfortunately not completely complete list of the IATA and ICAO codes used on is available here free of charge as a CSV file for download.